Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Zanu-PF Members of Parliament have resolved to forgo luxury vehicles and other privileges they are entitled to as legislators to allow the Government to direct resources towards more pressing national needs. This was revealed by Zanu-PF Chief Whip Cde Pupurai Togarepi in a statement yesterday.
Cde Togarepi also urged striking doctors and other civil servants to be patient with the Government as it implements painful policies to help turn around the economy.
“Our economic situation, just like the health sector, has bled for over a decade and the solutions so required to put the nation on a recovery path again, are by no means simple but being implemented nonetheless as Zimbabwe rediscovers its lost glory,” said Cde Togarepi.
He said ruling party legislators were alive to challenges facing the economy.
“As Zanu-PF parliamentarians, we are alive to these genuine concerns raised by doctors but also aware of Government’s fiscal position and we implore the doctors to negotiate in good faith, and with Zimbabwe and the sick people in our hospitals at heart.
“To play our part, however, small or little, we are ready to forgo the luxury vehicles that come with our parliamentary positions as we are representatives of less-privileged people whose only access to health is public hospitals,” said Cde Togarepi.
He also suggested cheaper vehicle models for MPs who want to reach their constituencies.
“We, as an arm of Government and also as the ruling party, are ready to lead by example and make sure we put our hands together in order to rebuild Zimbabwe,” he said.
“The night is certainly dark, but the darkest hour comes just before dawn. All Zimbabweans, from any political party, we have a duty, and a role to play as we lay one stone on top of another (Ibwe pamusoro peibwe) to reconstruct and strive to attract not only foreign but also local investors,” said Cde Togarepi.
“We are aware of the many hurdles along the way, but we will not be deterred in the march towards attaining Vision 2030,” he said.
He urged Zimbabweans to stay united to get the country working.
“There is so much at stake that we cannot be divided at this crucial juncture. We need to bring back lost pride. We need to create employment and we need the strike by doctors to end,” Cde Togarepi said.
“Hopefully, teachers, civil servants and other public servants will also bear with Government as it seeks to rebuild the economy to ensure that in just more than a decade Zimbabwe will be a middle income country,” he said.
During debate on the 2019 National Budget, legislators from across the political divide united to demand an improvement of their conditions of service, including getting luxury vehicles and provision of a three course meal when on parliamentary business.
The MPs also demanded that Parliament provide them with gym facilities or to pay membership and subscription fees for them at sports clubs for recreational purposes, including enabling them to play golf.
In response to these demands, Parliament’s budget allocation was revised from $101 million to $145 million.
The demands were condemned across the political divide as insensitive to the plight of ordinary people being asked to endure a period of austerity as Government implements the Transitional Stabilisation Programme to turn around the economy.